#HaqBantaHai Campaign on Access to Free Medicine: Bihar

#HaqBantaHai Campaign on Access to Free Medicine: Bihar

Oxfam India in collaboration with ‘Jan Swasthya Abhiyan’ (JSA) organised #HAQBANTAHAI campaign in Bihar which culminated with a State Level Consultation on 27th May, involving representatives from all prominent political parties of Bihar. JSA presented a factsheet on availability of drugs in Government facilities in Bihar along with a review of budgetary allocations on drugs for last three years.

The tagline of #HaqBantaHai campaign is “Struggle from 14 to 40”: “चौदह से चालीस की ज़ोर अजमाइश” (In Bihar- per person, per capita government expenditure on medicines to be increased from INR 14 to 40).

The focus of this consultation was to sensitise the political leaders on the current status of free medicines in the state and ensure commitment from them towards provisioning of free medicines to all in Bihar. The consultation was attended by 100-115 members from the community, JSA partners from respective districts, INGOs, CSOs, media and political representatives.

Through the consultation, we were able to ensure commitment from all political parties on providing free medicines to all in Bihar. They all appreciated the effort of Oxfam India and JSA for engaging representatives from all political parties so that they raise the concerns in the legislative assembly.

Mr Abdul Bari Siddiqui, Minister- Dept. of Finance, GoB, committed to provision INR 500 crore in the budget of Bihar in 2018-19, Government. He made the commitment that GoB will strive to spend INR. 40 per person, per capita. 

Mr Madan Mohan Jha, Minister- Dept. of Revenue and Land Reforms, committed to increase the facilities in all government hospitals.

Mr Nand Kishor Yadav, Former Health Minister, GoB emphasised the lack of planning and expenditure in Health budget by the government and ensure proper monitoring to improve the services. He committed to be a part of this campaign and work for allocation of INR 40 per person, per capita in Bihar. 

The key demands of #HaqBantaHai campaign are:

• Bihar Government should consider an increment of INR 500 crore in annual budget on medicine and medical investigation and make it INR 40 per person.

• Patient should be provided with at least one week of free medicine.

• There is a need for a strong tracking of medicine and medical investigation so that its availability can be ensured. 

• There should be no fees charged in Government hospitals.

• Doctors posted in Government health center should follow list of necessary generic medicine which is prescribed by Government of Bihar.

• Generic name of Medicine should be written in the prescription of patient as per suggestion by Medical Council of India. 

• Every two –three years there should be revision of necessary medicine list and also control of the prices of necessary medicine.

Political dignitaries have emphasised to make this issue a part of all their party campaigns and ensure that health facilities improve in Bihar.

Edited by Naureen Khan, Oxfam India

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